23 February, 2007

No Desktop Apps -- First Impressions

I have been using open source software and web-based applications (mainly just Gmail) for almost two weeks now, and I have stored up some thoughts and first reactions.
  • I imported all my contacts and distribution lists from Outlook into Gmail last Sunday. This turned out to be relatively painless, but it has not made my interaction with the Gmail interface any easier. I don't like it. It's too busy. And I don't have a lot of time to learn all its features. (But, it's not like I used all the Outlook features either!)
  • First big "duh" moment: I spent the last two weeks trying to make the Portable Apps installed on my flash drive work on a Mac. Turns out you can't use Windows applications on a Mac. Yeah, I knew this, but I wasn't thinking.
  • First stumbling block: The argument that you can use these open source applications to create and send documents to folks and "none will be the wiser" has not proven entirely true. The OoWriter application has a built-in PDF function. I have used it as well as the open source PDF Creator about three or four times to post completed assignments on my IT 578 (web design) homepage. When the instructor tried to open and print these PDFs, she encountered problems with the formatting. When she caught onto the fact I was using an application other than Adobe to create PDFs, she asked me (and others in the class) to refrain from doing so.

No comments: